Mercedes-Benz will develop all of its new platforms with electric vehicles as a priority
In markets where gasoline or diesel vehicles need to hold on a bit longer, the brand will add an engine to one of its EVs
The first application of this thinking will be seen here with the next generation of the CLA and GLA
This is because the automaker is present in most countries around the world and it believes that many regions outside Europe and North America are not ready to abandon fossil fuels quite yet.
Despite this, the company will give priority to electric vehicles and this will be apparent in its future models. Indeed, Mercedes-Benz has now said that its future platforms will be developed for EVs from the start.
This means that future gasoline and diesel Mercedes vehicles will be EVs with and engine retrofitted. This is the opposite way of doing things that is often seen in the industry, where a manufacturer adapts one of its fossil fueled platforms to use them in EVs.
Doing so will prevent the drawbacks associated with shared platforms, namely a lower efficiency and a shorter range. Indeed, the automaker said that the compromises brought on by the sharing of a platform will be applied to the gasoline and diesel vehicles, thus making the electric ones as efficient as possible.
These compromises could be that due to the different use of space, a smaller engine or a less capacious fuel tank would have to be used, for example.
The first products of this new philosophy will be seen in North America when the next generation of the CLA and GLA, based on the MMA platform, arrive in 2024.
BMW is also working in a similar way, since its Neue Klasse platform that will arrive in 2025 has been developed primarily for EVs, despite the automaker’s intention to use it for vehicles with internal combustion engines as well.
Sharing the same platform for multiple types of vehicles will help the automakers keep the cost of electric vehicles under control, which is one of the biggest challenges limiting the adoption of EVs.